Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell failed to get support of more than 25% of the company’s shareholders in a vote held last week. Of the 1.5 billion votes cast, more than a quarter were voted to “withhold” support for Michael Dell as a director.
In a regulatory filing released Tuesday, Dell disclosed that about 378 million of 1.5 billion votes opposed Mr. Dell’s continued presence on the company’s board. Dell held its annual meeting with shareholders earlier in the month.
That was the lowest tally of supporting votes among the 11 directors at Dell. The filing came out just days before Dell is scheduled to report quarterly results on Thursday, and just weeks after the company agreed to pay a $100 million fine to settle fraud charges with the SEC.
“Mr. Dell is quite properly an iconic figure at the company,” said Joseph A. Grundfest, a Stanford law professor and co-director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance. “It is extremely rare to have that amount of shareholder disaffection directed toward an executive who is so central to the company’s past, present and future.”
Advanced Internet Technologies has sued Dell for damages from the breakdown of nearly 2,000 OptiPlex systems it leased to clients. The company said it lost nearly $16 million from cancelled contracts and $22 million on discounts it offered to hold onto spurned customers.